Cable Girls is back, but of course, since this is the final season, they had to torture us a bit by, you know, not actually giving us all the episodes. In the end, though, that’s both good and bad if we consider that it means we don’t really have to say goodbye to Alba/Lidia, Carlota, Marga, Oscar, Francisco and Carlos just yet.
Well, maybe we do have to say goodbye to Carlos.
Season 5 of the series was always meant to be something …different. Angeles’ absence was always going to be felt, but there’s also the time jump, which pretty much squashes any romantic love triangle for Alba/Lidia (no matter what the promo might want you to think), and the fact that the show decided to tackle the Spanish civil war, a sensitive subject for those in Spain, and something the rest of the world knows very little about.
There were, of course, good things about this show we’ve loved for four seasons, and bad things, and some …well, baffling things. And we’re going to talk about them here. So join us as we go into the good, the bad and the ugly of Cable Girls season 5.
- Family is made of love, not blood: The Fact that Francisco and Alba/Lidia could walk away from Spain and form a family with Eva and Sofia, a real family, is a testament to this show always sending the message that family isn’t about blood, but about choice. Francisco chose Alba/Lidia and Eva, and the fact that Eva wasn’t his by blood never made any difference to him. Maybe that’s what made it so easy for Alba/Lidia to choose him back, once and forever, the way she always wanted to, the way, perhaps, she was always meant to. Add to that Sofia, the girl they both choose to complete this family, and the message is unequivocal: you choose your family, and that choice is as strong as blood, sometimes even stronger.
- Female friendships: The backbone of this show was never the romance, or the love triangles, it was the friendship between these 4 women (now 3). And that friendship has elevated the show, even when the romantic angle seemed to want to bog it down. There isn’t enough of Marga, Alba/Lidia and Carlota in season 5, because there’s so much going on that it’s impossible for them to just …have tea and catch up, but that doesn’t mean the backbone of the show has changed. It’s still about what you would do for your friends, and for their legacy.
- Carlos’ redemption arc: Carlos needed a redemption arc. I’ve loved Martiño Rivas since El Internado, so it pains me to say this, but Carlos was only his best during Cable Girls when he had what he wanted: mainly, Lidia. When he didn’t, the worst parts of him came out, and he was unbearably rude, selfish, and mean. Just like his mother. He even forgot the friend he loved like a brother, and his bitterness led him to abandon the daughter he swore he loved more than anything. But deep down, Carlos was never his mother, never just the bad. He was always the man Francisco considered a brother, the man Lidia fell in love with, the father of Eva. And in the end, he got to prove that, and though I would have loved for this story to allow him a chance to at least meet his grown-up daughter, I will say I really loved not just the work of Martin Rivas in these 5 episodes, but the overall arc of redemption for a character that, perhaps, deserved better than what the story gave him.
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- The Lack of Francisco: Francisco has gotten way less screen time than Yon Gonzalez’ billing has dictated for so often that it’s hard to be surprised at how little Francisco we got in the first part of season 5. And yet, for something that was never truly just a love story, but that has been, for so long, a story about family, it’s also more than a little unbelievable that they couldn’t have found a way to fit him in more. Or give him a scene or two with Sofia, or even Carlos, before his untimely end. Maybe they’re saving the Sofia reunion for the second part of the final season, but just like in season 3 AND 4, this first part of season 5 leaves us feeling like we got cheated out of the amount of Francisco we wanted, and that is something that will never sit right with us.
- The forceful return of Sara: When I heard Civil War, I figured this was coming, and my heart broke before we even got to the scene of Oscar being forced to dress as Sara once again. Because that’s just what happened, Sara is gone, and now Oscar is being forced to behave in a way that doesn’t represent him anymore, or risk losing his life, and his freedom. It’s reality, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking, or had to watch.
- Love triangle hints: We hate love triangles. No, really, we do. The Alba/Lidia + Francisco + Carlos one never made much sense to me, to begin with, but on and on we went, Lidia made a decision, then she changed her mind, then she finally made a decision again, only for something to happen that made her reevaluate it, and again and again and again. At one point, it made me dislike Lidia a bit, if only because I just wanted her to stop playing with both Francisco and Carlos. But all love triangles have to end, and this one ended in an unequivocal way. Francisco and Alba/Lidia a have a family now, so the little hints at maybe, perhaps, when it comes to Carlos, were really, really not needed. Not at this point.
- The reality they represent: This has very little to do with the show and more with …well, history and life. I thought I would appreciate the lesson, and as someone who is somewhat aware of what happened, I thought I’d be excited to learn and to discover and to see this finally brought to screen. And I am, in some ways. In others I’m just …horrified, and sad, and overwhelmed. There’s no other way to feel, not when you know that whatever happens to the characters we’ve fallen for, in real life things didn’t get better in Spain for many, many years. And yet, what else can we do …especially the general public that knows very little of what really happened, but watch, learn and then go and educate ourselves more?
What did you think of Cable Girls Season 5? Share with us in the comments below!
The first part of Cable Girls season 5 is available to stream on Netflix.